Council says Yes to More Micro-Units:22 Units Approved for Yeamans Street Development

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The City Council and the Zoning Board of Appeals have given the go ahead for a new development for a 22-micro-unit building at 14 Yeamans St.

Last week, the Zoning Board received a letter of support from the city’s Economic Development Department and heard from neighbors in opposition.  The Zoning Board of Appeals approved several variances for a 22-micro unit building on Yeamans Street last week.

Monday night the City Council granted permission for the project that abutters did not favor. The three-story building will consist of the residential micro-units and four commercial units.

According to Corey Rhodes, attorney for the developer, the units will range in size from 260-400 square feet, studios and one bedroom. Four of the units will be 650 square feet and the commercial spaces are about 700 square feet.

“These will be marketed to young professionals with no cars,” Rhodes explained. In fact it will be in the lease that renters cannot have a car registered at that address. He noted that three bus lines serve the property.

The Site Plan Review Committee also issued findings and conditions regarding this project, including sewer mitigation of $31,460; a street and sidewalk bond for utility work; new concrete sidewalks and two street trees in front of the property; and the installation of bike racks and bike storage space.

“This is a project that is in my ward, and has been on the table with a few weeks,” said Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe.

Jamie Russo, the contractor on the project, said he will also do work to the McKinley School parking lot in the neighborhood.

“Assistance with the municipal lot helps,” Keefe added. “We know the developer and the council have acknowledged the neighbors concerns. This is a multi-million dollar investment in the Broadway area. There is much more a benefit than something that takes away.”

“There was a lot of compromise here. This will revitalize the extension of Broadway,” said Councillor Anthony Zambuto.

“This is the right building for this spot,” said Ward 6 Councillor Charles Patch.

Ward 5 Councillor John Powers at first was not in favor of the proposal, but he said after seeing the work Russo has done at the corner of Pleasant Street and Broadway, Dehon Street and American Legion Highway at Revere Street, he likes the Yeamans Street proposal.

“This building is part of the downtown business district,” Powers said, adding that he likes the lease banning cars. “I’m also happy about the McKinley School.”

“The developer has a history of mixed-use buildings and his developments have been catalysts for the community,” said Councillor Jessica Gianinno.

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